THE BLOG
10/20/2014 11:25 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Tom Cotton vs. Mark Pryor Nonpartisan Candidate Guide For Arkansas Senate Race 2014

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Are you looking for a nonpartisan voter guide to the Tom Cotton vs. Mark Pryor Senate race? One that will give you an unbiased, no-spin comparison of candidate positions on key issues? That's what our Campus Election Engagement Project guide will give you! We are a national nonpartisan initiative working with college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders to increase student participation in America's elections. For the 2014 elections we have created and distributed voter guides to campuses in more than 20 states so they can provide their communities with accurate information for informed voting. Because these guides have been so well received and are useful for all voting citizens who want to be better informed, we are also posting them here.

We developed our guides by analyzing information from trusted resources such as www.votesmart.org, www.ontheissues.org, www.ballotpedia.com, www.politifact.com, www.factcheck.org, www.vote411.org and from candidate websites, public debates and interviews, and statements in major media outlets. We also showed them to groups like campus Young Republicans and Young Democrats at the schools we work with to verify their fairness and lack of bias.

So here are the issue-by-issue stands for Tom Cotton and Mark Pryor, with additional links at the bottom for each candidate if you'd like to dig deeper. (You can also find Arkansas's Governor guide here.)

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Budget: Did you support raising the Federal debt ceiling with no strings attached?
Cotton: No
Pryor: Yes

Budget: Do you support a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment?
Cotton: Yes
Pryor: No. Believes it "handcuffs our ability to respond to an economic downturn or national emergencies."

Campaign Finance: Do you support the DISCLOSE Act, which would require key funders of political ads to put their names on those ads?
Cotton: Unknown
Pryor: Yes

Campaign Finance: Do you support the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which allowed unlimited independent political expenditures by corporations and unions?
Cotton: Unknown
Pryor: No

Economy: Do you support raising the minimum wage? (Supports state minimum wage initiative phasing in to $8.50, opposes Federal increase to $10.10. See Wall Street Journal article for more information.)
Cotton: Supports state initiative, opposes federal increase
Pryor: Yes

Economy: Do you support extending unemployment benefits beyond 26 weeks?
Cotton: No
Pryor: Yes

Economy: Do you support the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and sought to increase regulation of Wall Street corporations and other financial institutions?
Cotton: No
Pryor: Yes

Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Cotton: No
Pryor: Yes

Education: Do you support refinancing of student loans at lower rates, paid for by increasing taxes on income over a million dollars?
Cotton: No
Pryor: Yes

Environment: Do you believe that human activity is a major factor contributing to climate change?
Cotton: Unknown
Pryor: Yes

Environment: Do you support government action to limit the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere?
Cotton: No
Pryor: No

Environment: Do you support government mandates and/or subsidies for renewable energy?
Cotton: No
Pryor: Yes

Gay Marriage: Do you support gay marriage?
Cotton: No
Pryor: No

Gun Control: Do you support enacting more restrictive gun control legislation?
Cotton: No
Pryor: No

Healthcare: Do you support repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?
Cotton: Yes
Pryor: No

Healthcare: Did you support shutting down the federal government in order to defund Obamacare in 2013?
Cotton: Yes
Pryor: No

Immigration: Do you support the D.R.E.A.M. Act, which would allow children brought into the country illegally to achieve legal status if they've graduated from high school, have a clean legal record, and attend college or serve in the military?
Cotton: No
Pryor: No

Immigration: Do you support the comprehensive immigration plan passed by the Senate in 2013, which includes a pathway to citizenship and increased funding for border security?
Cotton: No
Pryor: Yes

Iraq: Should the US recommit troops to Iraq to combat the rise in insurgency?
Cotton: Unknown. Believes President should consult Congress regarding troop commitments
Pryor: Unknown

Social Issues: Should abortion be highly restricted?
Cotton: Yes
Pryor: Yes

Social Issues: Should employers be able to withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if they disagree with it morally?
Cotton: Yes
Pryor: No

Social Issues: Should Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion health services?
Cotton: No
Pryor: Yes

Social Security: Do you support partial privatization of Social Security?
Cotton: Yes
Pryor: No

Taxes: Have you signed the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge to oppose any tax increases to raise revenue? (The answer to this question is taken from the database of signatories of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, created by Americans for Tax Reform. Signers to the pledge promise to oppose "any and all tax increases" meant to generate additional revenue.)
Cotton: Yes
Pryor: No

Taxes: Would you increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?
Cotton: No. See above
Pryor: Yes

Learn more about the candidates:
Cotton: Tom Cotton Vote Smart pages and Tom Cotton On the Issues pages
Pryor: Mark Pryor Vote Smart pages and Mark Pryor On the Issues pages
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Other Senate candidates include Nathan LaFrance (Libertarian) and Mark Swaney (Green Party) Limited space precludes including their positions, but we invite you to check out their websites.